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Organizational Behavior - Overview


Organizational behavior is the study of how people and groups are motivated at work. Students learn theories of human behavior and employee relations. They learn how to use and assess measures that help to improve productivity.

Did you ever see the Charlie Chaplin film "Modern Times"? The still shot of Charlie having become a part of a giant machine is a classic moment in film history. Human beings interact with machines more and more in business. Yet, people still interact a great deal with each other, too.

The social sciences have taught us that it is possible to study human behavior scientifically. That's what organizational behavior does in the workplace. Using scientific research methods, it looks at how workers interact with each other. It finds ways to resolve conflicts. It discovers the secrets of successful leadership.

About 65 colleges offer a bachelor's degree in this field. This degree represents four years of full-time study beyond high school. In many other schools you can take courses in this subject within a major in another business field. For example, you might study it within a business management or human resources major. With a bachelor's you may be hired as a management trainee or work within the human resources department of a firm.

More opportunities will be open to you if you get a master's in business administration (MBA). Several business schools offer an MBA program that specializes in organizational behavior. The MBA usually takes two years, including an internship between the first and second years. You may enter this program after earning a bachelor's degree in some other business field. Or you may be able to start with a bachelor's degree in a non-business field, such as sociology or psychology. In that case it helps if you have some business work experience before you apply for the MBA program.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

• Introduction to Business
• English Composition
• Business and Applied English
• Pre-Calculus
• Economics
• Psychology

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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